Global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm HOK has recently been selected as lead designer and masterplanner for the redevelopment of Fort Regent, a former fortress turned community center in St. Helier on Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands of the English Channel.
The redevelopment of the 22-acre (9-hectares) site will make Jersey’s largest leisure and entertainment venue a premiere destination, and includes a masterplan that aims to strengthen the economic value of the site and encourage public funding for the redevelopment.
The plan makes use of the site’s unique historic features such as the Fort’s exterior ditches to create a dedicated space for conferences, exhibitions, and events in a 2,000-seat music auditorium. The choice to integrate the auditorium within the site’s historical fabric required HOK’s team to develop innovative spatial and structural solutions to accommodate a variety of programs including athletics, conferences, and music events.
The plan includes improvements to make the area more accessible to the public, featuring an elevator and skyway linking St. Helier’s town center to the park surrounding the Fort. In addition to the redevelopment of the park, the plan proposes the creation of a covered internal piazza that will serve as a focal point for both local islanders and visitors alike.
HOK’s director of sports and entertainment architecture in London, John Rhodes, states “The design for Fort Regent will enrich the visitor experience by combining a vibrant range of existing and future uses, creating dynamic synergies inside the historic facility.” In addition to HOK, the design team includes Jersey-based practices Page Architects, Ross Gower Associates and Tillyard, as well as UK consultants WSP and IPW. Local agencies, associations and the staff at Fort Regent also are providing guidance.